I'd like to be able to search (and ideally just jump, rather than actually search) within the current folder I have open in the Gnome 3 Files App. I'm coming from being used to using nautilus under Gnome Flashback, where I could just start typing the name of a file and the view would scroll me to the location of the nearest match. This was great -- no fancy searching involved, just let me jump to approximately the right place and then look for the file I need. Works great if I can't remember exactly what a file was called.

Unfortunately just typing in Files instead changes to a search UI which takes me out of the context of the folder I was in and wants to search recursively through the folders I have. I have good folder structures, so I usually know where a file is located, so the search aspect of this isn't useful and is comparatively slow.

I've looked in preferences and there doesn't seem to be a way to turn off this auto-search behaviour. Perhaps there's an extension which can fix this?


In many ways, the current search behavior is more powerful than the old system where you could quickly move to the files starting with the letters you typed. It does not require you to know the first letters. Knowing part of the file name is good enough. It allows to quickly retrieve a file several folder levels deep, without having to subsequently scan the list and open a sequence of folders. Of course, many users prefer the old way.

To search in the current folder only, head to "Preferences" - "Search & Preview" tab and set "Search in subfolders" to "never". The search will then be in the current folder only. When you select the file and press Esc, you will return to the regular folder view with your file selected.

Too keep the context more consistent, you could set "Search" to match the view you commonly use (icon-view or list-view). "Search" defaults to list-view. Use dconf-editor or the following command to set Search to use icon-view:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences search-view 'icon-view'

Use list-view to set to list view, or just reset to default (replace set by reset and leave out the last argument).

Just jumping to a matching file is not possible in Files. There used to be patches that re-implemented that feature, but there are not common anymore.If this is very important to you, only more pervasive options are available. You may consider switching to another file manager that supports that feature. However, that is not trivial because a file manager is strongly tied to the desktop environment. Changing desktop environments of course also remains a possibility.

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